Google Docs: Five Simple Words Crash Online Word Processor and Revoke Access

The word processor Google Docs is a central part of Google Drive, the Google Workspace package and is likely to be used by many millions of users. Now an interesting bug has become known, which one would have expected in a messenger app: By entering only five words within the document, Google Docs fails and withdraws access.

With Google Docs, documents can be created, edited, shared and, of course, printed out or exported quite comfortably – not only for me it will probably have replaced the absolute standard Microsoft Word for everyday life.

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A few days ago a bug was discovered in the web app, which is probably triggered by the spelling correction and can easily be triggered. It is enough to enter the text line And. other other other other to type, press Enter and reload the document. There is already an error message that then denies access to the document.

The whole thing should also work with the words Also, However, But, Who, and Why if they are entered five times in a row. With “And” I would have expected that the text could somehow break out and somehow get into the JS code – similar to an SQL injection. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the other words, so it’s probably due to the spelling correction.

Google has now confirmed the problem and fixed it for some users. If you lose access to a document this way, open it with the unaffected Android app and simply remove the line of text.

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